Scam puts smartphone users at risk

Scam risk for 95 per cent of Android users.

Security research company Zimperium zLabs has discovered what it believes to be the “worst Android vulnerability in the mobile operating system’s history.” About 95 per cent of Android smartphones and tablets worldwide are susceptible to the attack.

The bug, nicknamed Stagefright, allows scammers to hack into smartphones and tablets running Android version 2.2 or later. It works by stealing and monitoring users’ personal information through their applications. All scammers need to gain access is the user’s phone number.

What makes this scam particularly frightening is that unlike spear-phishing attacks, Stagefright doesn’t rely on users to take any action before it attacks. Spear-phishing attacks are relatively easier to guard against, since they usually require users to click on a link or open an email attachment. Stagefright can gain access to the user’s phone without users even realising.  

Once the device’s security has been breached, hackers can spy on the user by invading their applications, including the audio and camera. This means scammers can listen in on the user’s conversation and take note of the device’s surroundings.

Google is working hard to resolve the issue, but there is currently no way to prevent an attack. 


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    29th Jul 2015
    Interesting to note thet this bug' has existed for five years. Turn off/disable MMS and use apps such as whatsapp for such transfers. As well, disable the wireless data option and turn on only as needed.

    BTW, excluding the voice listerning, many of the apps one installs on their smartphone already provide such permissions!
    29th Jul 2015
    Don't panic - it shouldn't affect many of us - see
    30th Jul 2015
    I lost 28/07/15 Your life Choices the story on the phones {this isn't a comment }
    Could you resend it to me please I want to read up on the subject on "phones for seniors "as I am one and cannot use these new fangled ones thank you Regards
    25th Apr 2018
    Simple way to protect yourself. Don't enable the internet on your phone. Mine is used for phone calls and texts, and photos. Everything else is done at home on my laptop. Won't guarantee complete protection but certainly lessens the risk

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